Speedcast International recently signed a new contract, with multi-year extension options, with Carnival Corp.
The company will provide remote communications and value-added services across the company’s cruise ship fleet. The three-year material contract is expected to generate 8-9% of expected full year 2019 revenue, it said.
Speedcast has been delivering communications services to over 100 cruise ships across the various Carnival brands since 2013. With this new contract, Carnival will increase its investment in communications, with bandwidth delivered to the fleet growing significantly in order to provide its guests with a high-quality internet experience.
The company is using 40 satellites, including high throughput satellites (HTS), across C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band spectrums and 20 teleports to deliver the largest dedicated maritime satellite network in the world.
Connectivity is managed and enhanced by a centrally-orchestrated intelligent automation system called Speedcast TrueBeam, which is the result of a four-year development programme and is being launched operationally for the first time.
TrueBeam gives ships worldwide the ability to seamlessly maintain communications, even while moving in and out of a satellite beam’s coverage area. The system incorporates intelligence that understands, predicts and mitigates known satellite communication challenges, such as rain fade, line of sight blockage and network congestion. This is critical when using the small beams of HTS, which can require multiple beam switches per day.
The system analyses network availability, capacity, bands, and other key data points across networks and is able to make intelligent decisions without manual interaction. It is the first system of its kind that is able to centralise the planning and switching of a remote network of this size and scale, Speedcast claimed.
Speedcast’s services also include an extensive global terrestrial backhaul network to carry data traffic to the internet and back to Carnival’s key operations data centres. The company will also implement the latest network optimisation technologies from Xiplink to help enable an enhanced guest experience.
Beyond connectivity, Speedcast will provide value-added services, including voice services and support for the growing demand for data-rich applications and streaming from personal devices while on board.
Speedcast’s 24/7 Technical Support Centres on five continents, a dedicated service delivery team and over 250 field engineers globally, will help ensure the operation and maintenance of the network to deliver a high degree of service availability, the company added.
“Speedcast is thrilled and proud to continue this partnership with Carnival as its trusted provider for communications,” said PJ Beylier, Speedcast CEO. “I would like to thank the entire Carnival team for their trust and look forward to continuously raising the bar together with Carnival to deliver an industry-leading communications guest experience in the cruise industry, just as we did earlier in the year delivering world record-setting bandwidth to the ‘Carnival Horizon’.
“The continuation of our partnership with Carnival, following a very competitive process, is a testament to Speedcast’s unique capabilities, demonstrates our ability to innovate and adapt to fast-evolving customer needs and is confirmation of our leadership position in the cruise sector,” he said.
“Carnival Corporation looks forward to continuing our relationship with Speedcast to enable industry-leading connectivity on board our ships to enhance the guest experience beyond what we are offering today,” said Reza Rasoulian, Carnival’s Vice President of Global Connectivity.